It seems that every time we head into a creek, things get complicated. Saturday evening five of us headed North towards Sedona. After leaving the highway we headed East and found our way to the exit point for Wet Beaver Creek. The parking lot was filled with bros and hoes. This lot was a gateway to The Crack. A popular cliff jumping/party spot for young wipper snappers. Not our scene. Lucky for us we just had to do a car drop, and crowd back into the safety of the Forester. Thirty minutes away we managed to locate our drop in point, by not much more then the light of the moon. We may have had to make some u-turns, but we found it none the less. We hit the hay early; as we all knew how long of a day we had tomorrow.
The plan was to drop into Wet beaver Creek using Waldroup Canyon and follow the creek out to the Bell Crossing Trail. This would entail 3/4 mile in Waldroup Canyon; 9 miles of swimming/wading/rock hoping Wet Beaver Creek and 2 miles out to the car. The creek involves long swims and narrow canyon walls. Movement through this portion was expected to take the better part of the day.
After an early rise we organized and headed into Waldroup Canyon. There were a few non-technical down climbs before we hit Wet Beaver Creek. Along this route we could catch glimpses of the red rock that surrounds Wet Beaver. Eventually we poured out into the creek. After a few minutes the first of many wades appeared. The water was crisp but not unbearable. We wiggled our way through the creek taking in the views. The pools began to length and appear more frequent as we got closer to the crack.
Midway through the canyon we were stopped in our tracks by a loud rumble that echoed down. We all attempted to register the sound but were unsure. Rock fall? Flash flood? Thunder? Airplane? With our ears to the sky we continued, only to be disrupted by the sound once more. This time the noise registered, it was definitely thunder. The timing of this could not be less ideal. We were just beginning to navigate the narrows of the creek. Our pace picked up with every roaring crash from the sky. The discomfort of swimming a narrow with thunder coming from upstream was scary. We were all bombarded with images and emergency protocol for flash floods. The reality of it was that if it occurred, we were fucked.
The sky continued to darken as we finally made our way to The Crack. Unfortunately as soon as we stepped out of the water, the lightning began. Essentially trading one force of nature for another. Again our pace increased as we raced through the rain and lightning attempting to make it to the car drop. After a quick two miles we found ourselves turning the key and laughing about our adventure. Type two fun achieved.
Information on this hike can be found here.